AKO SI ANNA.
Hi! My name is Anna (she/her) and I'm a Queer + Pinay femme radical birthworker, educator, facilitator, energy worker, and pleasure advocate. My practice is rooted in the decolonization of birthwork, transformative QTBIPGM care (Queer + Trans Black, Indigenous, and People of the Global Majority), and queer reproductive justice as was taught to me by king yaa.
I support emerging birthworkers in radicalizing their practice through heart-centered mentorships, facilitations + offerings, and community organizing. I also support birthing folks and families in fertility, birth, postpartum, abortion, miscarriage, and loss. I believe in providing gender affirming and trauma informed care for all folks in their reproductive journeys.
I take care in understanding there is anti-racism work to be upheld in all facets of birth and beyond and am committed to hold accountable the many systems of oppression that continue to harm marginalized folks. My goal is to make sure any space we share together will be radical, inclusive, and affirming. I'm your person. You're important to me!
Thank you for being here. I can’t wait to share spaces with you.
HOW DID POCKET DOULA COME TO BE?
Before I became a birthworker, I was (and sometimes still am) a nanny for different families in Toronto. I love all my kiddos so fiercely. I love their parents too. As I was moving through the childcare world, I knew that this line of carework wasn't my forever calling. Though I loved witnessing kids and their magic as well as supporting the parents support themselves - I felt there was something bigger.
When I was introduced to birthwork (or, during that time being a "doula") I had no idea what it was. From my understanding a doula was a non-medical person who helped people give birth and take care of babies postpartum. I was fricken thrilled. I felt this was exactly what I was trying to move into.
I took the weekend classes that were available to me in person. Spent tons (and I mean tons) of money investing into "approved" trainings - all to feel completely lost at the end. Though I knew I so badly wanted to be a doula - the workshops I attended and the trainings I took part of just didn't reflect what I felt like I needed to know. But the problem was... I didn't know what I needed to know. Which made it all the more confusing. A year and thousands of dollars later, I took a step back from birthwork. I wasn't sure this work was for me anymore.
WAIT, YOU QUIT BIRTHWORK?
Yes, but only for a year. Eventually I started exploring birthwork again - but this time I started to move into community spaces that taught me that birthwork is entirely political. This was the very first time I was hearing and learning about the intersections of reproductive care and politics and it blew my mind. Shoutout to Cornerstone Birthwork for being the first to radicalize my practice.
Since my emergence in political carework, being a birthworker made so much more sense to me. The reason I felt so confused and left behind in my other trainings was because the facilitations didn't meet my needs. We didn't talk about anti-racism, we didn't talk about harm reduction, we didn't talk about trauma-informed care, we didn't talk about capitalism or appropriation or advocacy - it lacked what I needed to know.
SO, WHAT'S POCKET DOULA UP TO NOW?
Nowadays, I spend a lot of my time community organizing. Though I still take clients for birth, postpartum, and reproductive care support - my passion is transitioning into supporting emerging birthworkers in radicalizing their practice. I've realized from personal experience and by speaking to community members, that building your carework practice as a newer doula is incredibly difficult! My goal is to hold spaces where emerging birthworkers feel a little less alone and feel a little more supported.
I've created monthly offerings such as Birthworkers Community Calls where curious, new, or practicing doulas come and share space to talk about the topic of the month and just enjoy each other's companies!
There's also emerging birthworker specific offerings such as Ating Bahay (weekend workshop) and Kapitbahay (4 month mentorship).
In the future, I hope to create and collaborate with more folks in our community to explore pathways of being a radical birthworker! This work is the work of the collective and it's such a privilege to be part of your community. Thank you for witnessing me and allowing me to witness you!